When you are competing in a prize fight, you need to be completely focused on the task at hand. Unfortunately, Manny Pacquiao has been unable to do that for his upcoming battle against Brandon Rios.
Heading into 2012, the Filipino boxer was unquestionably one of the top competitors in his sport. He had a 54-3-2 record and had not lost in over six years. However, this is where things started to fall apart.
A loss to Timothy Bradley took away his WBO welterweight title, although many debated the decision. Of course, there was no questioning his next loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, which ended with a sixth-round knockout.
All of a sudden, the veteran fighter needed to answer whether he can still get it done in the ring.
According to ESPN, Pacquiao will consider hanging it up after this bout. His trainer Freddie Roach said if the fight "does not go well, we will seriously talk about his retirement."
Obviously, this does not mean that the 34-year-old fighter has one foot out the door. However, it is certainly something that will be on the back of his mind, and it will put a lot of pressure on him to do well.
This is especially true when Rios believes he will be the one to end his opponent's career:
Instead of thinking about how to win the match, Pacquiao will be worrying about avoiding defeat, which could be the lasting moment of his legacy.
Of course, Roach is still contemplating what will happen if his fighter is capable of earning a win. He told ESPN's Dan Rafael that he wants some big-time bouts:
Even this is something that Pacquiao should not be focusing on. In this case, he would have to be impressive enough in a win to secure a shot at Floyd Mayweather. Once again, it would be better for him to only be concerned with getting the victory instead of how he could win in dominant fashion.
Still, there is even more on the boxer's mind headed into the match. Gareth A. Davies of the Daily Telegraph reports that he is very concerned about the recent Yolanda Typhoon that led to thousands of deaths in the Philippines. Roach had this to say about the situation:
We have had a lot of calls about the tragedy of course. He told me he wanted to go down on Sunday but it’s too close to the fight for him to take any time off and we talked about that. He is focused on the fight still but obviously it is a big distraction because it killed all of those people.
We do talk about it in the gym – about how many people got killed in the storm and how many more have been affected. He is concerned about it yes, very much, but I think we have him pretty much on track on the fight
It is a good thing that the congressman is concerned about his fellow citizens, but it seems to be one more thing that is affecting his training.
Rios has a lot of skill and enough experience to give Pacquiao some serious competition in this battle. If Pac-man is not 100 percent focused on the match, he will lose his third match in a row.
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